AMU Emergency Management Public Safety

EDM Friday Briefing: Kentucky Wildfires, Mutant Ebola, Paris Agreement, Alabama Drought

Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 4, 2016

  1. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin [link url=”” title=”declared a state of emergency”] due to dozens of wildfires burning throughout the state. The declaration opens up state resources to local and state officials. Firefighters have responded to [link url=”” title=”more than 60 fires in about 20 counties”] since the start of the week–the majority in southeastern and northeastern parts of the state.
  2. Scientists now believe that the [link url=”” title=”Ebola virus mutated early”] during the 2013-2016 epidemic, and it’s this mutation that may have caused the widespread outbreak. Two separate, recent studies [link url=”” title=”discovered that a single mutation”] that occurred in the early stages of the outbreak made it easier for the virus to infect cells. The discovery helps to explain why that outbreak was so widespread, as opposed to previous outbreaks that had been small and relatively limited.
  3. The United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC)–the parent treaty for the Paris Climate Change Agreement–[link url=”” title=”goes into effect today”]. The UNFCCC [link url=”” title=”serves as the parent treaty to other climate action agreements”], including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all with the goal to prevent human interference from reaching dangerous levels within the climate system.
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  5. The Alabama Office of Water Resources [link url=”” title=”declared drought emergencies”] in 18 more state counties this week. The additional declarations bring the total number to 46 of the state’s 67 counties. All told, five of Alabama’s nine geographic regions currently sit at the [link url=”” title=”most severe drought level”] due to a lack of rainfall.
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  7. In Iowa, Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert called the fatal shooting of Des Moines-area officers from earlier this week a [link url=”″ title=”cowardly act of calculated murder”]. Scott Michael Greene, the 46-year-old suspect in the ambush-style murders [link url=”″ title=”was arrested Thursday afternoon”] and charged with two counts of murder in the first degree.
  8. Yet [link url=”” title=”another earthquake struck central Italy”] yesterday–this time a magnitude 4.8 tremor. It was at the least the [link url=”” title=”fourth substantial quake”] to hit the region in about a week. There were no reported fatalities or serious damage associated with the quake.
  9. The Department of Homeland Security designated November as [link url=”” title=”Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR) Month”] to help focus efforts on securing vital services that drive the nation. By designating a specific month to focus on these systems and services, it [link url=”” title=”reaffirms the commitment to the nation”] to provide for the safety, security, and preservation of these critical elements
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  11. A new study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) [link url=”” title=”examined the phenomenon of ‘security fatigue'”] and what it means for cybersecurity in general. According to the NIST, [link url=”” title=”security fatigue is a negative for both users and businesses”]; fatigue increases overall security risks for users, while it can take money out the pockets of businesses.
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  13. At least 240 migrants [link url=”” title=”drowned off the coast of Libya”] in the 48 hours spanning Wednesday and Thursday, the U.N.’s migration agency said. Rescue ships led by the Italian coastguard were in the vicinity but were only able to rescue a handful of people. Migrant arrivals in Italy surged last month, bringing the [link url=”” title=”total to more than 158,000″] in 2016 alone.
  14. Recent findings published in the journal Science [link url=”″ title=”explain shrinking Arctic sea ice”] in very human terms. According to the research, the average American is personally responsible for [link url=”″ title=”melting roughly 50 square meters”] of frozen sea ice reserves each calendar year. At current carbon emission levels, the Arctic could have [link url=”” title=”no sea ice in September at the middle of this century”].
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Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.

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